Los Angeles has become the largest city in the U.S. to partake in what’s known as Meatless Monday. It’s been a mostly social media-driven national effort by The Monday Campaigns to get people to eat vegetarian meals every Monday.
Friday, November 9, the LA City Council unanimously approved a resolution to adopt Meatless Monday for the city. The council resolution gives statistics showing that more than half of LA County residents are obese or overweight and states that reducing meat consumption can decrease the chances of having health issues. Councilwoman Jan Perry encouraged the motion due to growing health issues such as heart disease and cancer.
“We can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent. While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” said Perry. “The issue is, how does a local municipality engage in this and how do we create change? If we do it one plate at time, one meal, one day, we are ratcheting down the impact on our environment. We start with one day a week and then, who knows, maybe we can change our habits for a lifetime.”
Here’s a list of a few restaurants/business in the L.A. area that plan to actively participate in the resolution every Monday (some may even offer Meatless Monday discounts).
- Border Grill Santa Monica
- Border Grill Los Angeles
- Grub Restaurant
- Locanda del Lago Santa Monica
- Osteria Mozza
- Pizzeria Mozza
- Susan Feniger’s Street
- Tender Greens Hollywood
Meatless Monday is a non-profit organization based in New York City. Their goal is to persuade Americans to reduce their meat consumption in hopes of decreasing the chances of illnesses that research has found can be caused by high meat diets. Some of these illnesses consist of conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. For example, many studies show high fruit and vegetable diets may reduce chances of cancer (colon cancer is associated with red and processed meat consumption), and by replacing high saturated fat foods with polyunsaturated fat foods, you can reduced the risk of heart disease by as much as 19 percent.
According to the Meatless Monday initiative, cutting back on meat consumption can also benefit the environment. They’ve found that taking in less meat on a weekly basis can reduce your carbon footprint and save important resources such as fossil fuel and fresh water. Apparently the meat industry generates about one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are causing rising climate change worldwide. The Meatless Monday organization believes that if there were a lesser demand for meat in the country then we could aid to the environment by slowing the trend.
Why Monday? According to Cherry Dumaual, PR & Partnerships Director of The Monday Campaigns, their research has shown that more people are likely to eat healthy and start exercising on a Monday more than any other day. After the weekend ends, they’re ready for a fresh start by jumping on a new bandwagon.
Something else Cherry discussed was the possible misconception of what they’re trying to get Americans to do. “We’re not telling you to not eat meat. We’re just saying here is another option for you to cut down on cholesterol and saturated fat by 15 percent by going one day a week without it,” said Cherry. “What we’re all about is helping prevent chronic diseases. By making one small change every week, it could add up to making a big difference in the end.”
If you’re interested in bringing Meatless Monday to your city, a free tool kit can be downloaded at the Meatless Monday website. It includes benefits of the program, talking points, detailed information, and helpful hints you’ll need to get your community started.
image via Dallas Observer